Onir’s Film On LGBTQ+ In Armed Forces Fails To Go Through Ministry of Defence’s Screening Process; He Says “I Can’t Just Be Told It’s Illegal”
Onir’s Film On LGBTQ+ In Armed Forces In Trouble; He Says, “I Can’t Just Be Told It’s Illegal” ( Photo Credit – Instagram )

Onir is a popular director who is well known for his content-heavy and through-proving movies, some of which have garnered immense attention on social media. The filmmaker has lately been in the news ever since his upcoming short film We Are, failed to gain clearance from the Ministry of Defence as per the new Cinematograph laws. As it became a major topic of discussion amongst the LGBTQ+ community, the director opened up on how he plans to discuss the film instead of taking the legal route.

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For the unversed, the director is known for working on films like I Am, which hit the screens in 2010. The movie featured Manisha Koirala and Juhi Chawla in the lead roles alongside Rahul Bose. The anthology had four hard-hitting stories, all of which gained heavy critical acclaim at the time of the movie’s release.

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As Onir’s new short film, We Are, failed at the screening process held by the Ministry of Defence, in a recent interaction with Mid-Day, the filmmaker elaborated on the movie’s plot. The story speaks about Major Suresh, who has to leave the Armed Forces just because he belongs to the LGBTQ+ community. He stated that the movie does not disrespect Armed Forces and only intends to highlight the 56 countries that allow LGBTQ+ members in their forces.

Speaking about the importance of discussions, Onir said, “Right at the beginning, I had requested a face-to-face meeting. I have not been given that yet. If something is being ‘rejected’, it has to be discussed at length. I can’t just be told it’s illegal. I am retelling the story that’s inspired from a real-life (episode), and the information is all in the public domain.”

He further elaborated on why he does not wish to go legal and said, “It’s not respectful of them to disallow a filmmaker from telling a story in a democratic country. I don’t want to go straight away to court. That is jumping into an aggressive mode without trying dialogue again. I want to re-appeal because I believe the ministry needs to reconsider the matter. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know if I have the resources as an independent filmmaker to fight a long-drawn legal battle.”

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